It’s official — Edwardsville’s Mark Smith has been named Mr. Basketball of Illinois for the 2017 season. The star guard racked up 251 total points in the vote to edge out Evanston’s Nojel Eastern (Purdue) and Belleville Althoff’s Jordan Goodwin (St. Louis).
Smith, an uncommitted 6-foot-5 point guard, averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists, and 8.2 rebounds per game while leading Edwardsville to a Class 4A Sectional Championship.
"I know my name wasn't up there at the start of the season," Smith said. "I just thank God I got this opportunity, as well as my teammates, my coaches and my parents, the Jets United program and all the coaches and media who voted for me."
According to 247Sports, Smith is rated as the No. 103 overall prospect in the class-of-2017. While technically on the outer edge of four-star territory, Smith boasts an impressive offer list that includes the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio State, Nebraska, Kansas State, and Missouri.
Illinois signees Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett placed in fourth and eighth place, respectively.
Ayo Dosunmu and Tim Finke were the only two juniors that appeared on multiple ballots; both have already received scholarship offers from the Fighting Illini.
2017 Illinois ‘Mr. Basketball’ Voting
|3||Jordan Goodwin||Belleville Althoff||SR||136|
|4||Jeremiah Tilmon||East St. Louis||SR||105|
|5||Taylor Bruninga||Glasford Illini Bluffs||SR||85|
|8||Javon Pickett||Belleville East||SR||46|
|13||Ayo Dosunmu||Morgan Park||JR||25|
|14||Tray Buchanan||East Moline United||SR||23|
|15||Tai Bibbs||West Chicago||SR||15|
|20||Teyvion Kirk||Joliet Central||SR||10|
|21||Zach Couper||Rockford Boylan||SR||10|
|23||Tim Finke||Champaign Central||JR||7|
|24||Marco Pettinato||Lincoln-Way West||SR||6|
|25||Josh Niego||Brother Rice||SR||2|